3 of the most common types of medical mistakes

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

It is necessary to have faith in professionals who provide medical support and guidance, as patients need to follow their instructions carefully during treatment. Although people do generally trust medical professionals, they are as prone to mistakes as any other human is.

In fact, given that they often work very unforgiving schedules in very high-stress environments, medical professionals are often at higher risk than those in other industries for making major mistakes on the job. According to recent research, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. These are just three of the most common types of medical mistakes that can lead to catastrophic consequences.

1. Diagnostic errors

Often mistakes in medical treatment start at the very beginning of the treatment process. Sometimes doctors don’t listen to what people say about their own symptoms, and other times they rush to a conclusion that is incorrect. In either scenario, the patient won’t receive the treatment they need and might possibly undergo treatment they don’t require.

2. Surgical errors

Surgery is one of the most invasive and risky forms of medicine, and surgical professionals have numerous systems in place to help them avoid mistakes. Even with support staff and cutting-edge technology, doctors do make major mistakes during surgery. Anesthesia errors can prove deadly before the surgery even starts. Surgeons can also make major mistakes during the operation, including performing the wrong procedure, performing the procedure on the wrong body part or leaving an object behind inside a patient’s body.

3. Medication errors

Pharmacists can make mistakes when filling a prescription, and doctors can make a mistake when recommending a medication by overlooking someone’s allergies, prior medical issues or other prescription drugs.

Nurses and other professionals providing hands-on medical support could make mistakes while administering drugs either orally or intravenously. Medication mistakes can undermine the efficacy of treatment or have catastrophic secondary consequences for the patient involved.

Those who believe that a medical mistake may have affected their care or the treatment a loved one received may benefit from seeking professional legal support. Learning more about the basics of medical malpractice claims can help those who have been affected by substandard medical care.